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Choosing Happiness: the power of positive thinking

Posted Sep 11 2008 5:53pm

I’m going to let you in on the simplest, most basic secret to true happiness: choose it! Seriously, this is much more effective and long lasting than winning the lotto or getting the job/home/man/woman of your dreams. The truth about happiness (and unhappiness) is that it is not the result of our outer life circumstances, but is in fact the by-product of how we think about our life circumstances.

Happiness is an inner state of being, and therefore is completely non-reliant on external factors. I know this seems counter-intuitive because when your “life” is good, you probably feel good, and conversely when your “life” is bad, you probably feel bad. That always seemed perfectly logical to me, until I trialed a different approach a few years ago. You see, what I learned is that it is not because life sucks that you don’t feel good. It is because of how you are thinking about your sucky life that you feel bad. The single most effective thing you can do to positively impact your happiness is to think positively about yourself and your life. And if your life happens to be not so great at the moment, well think look for a positive spin that will help you focus on solutions rather than the problems.

A positive attitude in undesirable circumstances allows a person to be happy despite those (often undeniably awful) circumstances. Likewise, a negative attitude in highly desirable circumstances destroys the ability to enjoy the privileged situation and be happy about it. The majority of people seem to lie somewhere in between, and feel happy when things in their lives are good and unhappy when they are difficult. However, if we made an effort to consciously choose a more positive perspective on our life challenges, we would unquestionably feel less hopeless or overwhlemed, and consequently deal with them better AND bounce back from them more quickly.

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